Dec 9, 2018

Comey: FBI investigated 4 Americans for links to Russian interference

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey told congressional investigators Friday that in the summer of 2016, the FBI opened counterintelligence investigations into four Americans connected to then-candidate Trump to determine if they played a role in Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The big picture: Comey, who testified for seven hours before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, was unwilling to publicly reveal the identities of the four individuals. But the New York Times reported in May that four Trump associates — Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page — were all investigated by the FBI for potential ties to Russia. Manafort, Flynn and Papadopoulos have since been indicted or pleaded guilty to the special counsel for various crimes.

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Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.